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BWW Review: SWEENEY TODD at West Fargo High School


See the Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

BWW Review: SWEENEY TODD at West Fargo High School

West Fargo High School Theatre Presents: Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (School Edition).

The musical of Sweeney Todd first hit Broadway in 1979. This haunting musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim is a modern classic. The horrid story of a vengeful barber who assists her partner in getting some special ingredients for her famous meat pies.

First off a huge congratulations to Director Kerry Horst. Mr Horst was given this job 2 weeks before auditions, and this is the first production he has directed in over 17 years. With how well this show was put together I never would have guessed any of it. From the opening number, to the final scene this show flows so smoothly. Kerry was lucky to have back some amazing talent from previous years, and I can tell he will have a wonderful pool of younger kids eager to shine.

BWW Review: SWEENEY TODD at West Fargo High School

Drake Aasen as Sweeney Todd never disappoints. This is a much different role than I have seen Drake in before, and he continues to impress me with his versatility as an actor. The evil laugh gave me chills. He shows off his bass voice on so many numbers. Some of my favorites were No Place Like London, The Worst Pies In London, Pretty Women and Epiphany (easily his best solo of the night), A Little Priest and By The Sea.

Ethan Saari as Anthony Hope is another one that continues to impress. I have been a fan since I first saw him on this same stage in Secret Garden a few years ago. Ethan has so much range as an actor and takes on every role with such professionalism. Some of his standout vocal performances were on Ah Miss, Johanna (my favorite of his), and Kiss Me.

BWW Review: SWEENEY TODD at West Fargo High School

Gracie Morgel as Mrs. Lovett was absolutely wonderful in this role. Gracie has also been impressing me for a few years (Since Damn Yankees at WF). Her scenes with Drake and so good and her scenes with Xander Dutton as Tobias were some of my favorites. A few of her great vocal performances came on The Worst Pies in London, Poor Thing, A Little Priest, By The Sea and Not While I'm Around.

Xander Dutton as Tobias was hilarious, fun, scary and everything in between. This was such a good performance and I would have loved to have seen more of him. His solo on Pirelli's Miracle Elixir was easily one of the best of the show. He also does a great job with Gracie on Not While I'm Around.

Rounding out our main characters are 5 more extremely talented students in Kamryn Tweiten, Chase Ohren, Colton Rheaume, Aidan Bertsch and Katie Sikorski playing Beggar Woman, Pirelli, Judge Turpin, Beadle and Johanna respectively.

I am glad I don't have to cast these shows with all of this talent in our schools.

BWW Review: SWEENEY TODD at West Fargo High School

Kamryn Tweiten as Beggar Woman is another great talent. She has a powerful voice and got to show that off on songs like No Place Like London, Ah Miss, Wait and Johanna.

Chase Ohren was hilarious as Pirelli and he really shines on Pirelli's Entrance, The Contest and Pirelli's Death.

Colton Rheaume as Judge Terpin was fun and scary all rolled into one. He really got to show his range in the few scenes he was in. His vocals on Pretty Women we wonderful, especially his doo wop style bass singing on this song that had the audience laughing out loud.

Aidan Bertsch who we might remember as Willard in Footloose (2020) did a wonderful job as Beadle.

I loved his performance on Ladies In Their Sensitivities.

Katie Sikorski had a great performance as Johanna. She had beautiful solos on Green Finch and Linnet Bird, Kiss Me, Johanna and City on Fire.BWW Review: SWEENEY TODD at West Fargo High School

The entire supporting cast did such a wonderful job. The cast was the perfect size, the stage never seemed crowded and the big ensemble numbers were all done so well.

Huge shout outs to The Pit Orchestra led by Jason Carlson, Choreographer Amanda Perlenfein, Vocal Director Ashley Holten, Sound Designer Jordan Feigert, Technical Director Judy Henry Costume Director Jennifer Hoime.

Hopefully by the time this review is published you will still have 4-5 chances to see this production.

Congrats again to Kerry Horst and the entire cast and crew on putting together another amazing performance for West Fargo High School Theatre!.

***Pictures Courtesy of Renegade Photography

*** Podcast episode coming soon

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From This Author Brian Michaels